Belfast Telegraph

Creating waves: Haunting image by Belfast Telegraph's Kevin Scott makes headlines

The photograph taken by Belfast Telegraph photographer Kevin Scott, of Murlough beach in Co Down as the sea washes away the image of a fallen soldier
The photograph taken by Belfast Telegraph photographer Kevin Scott, of Murlough beach in Co Down as the sea washes away the image of a fallen soldier
A beach drawing of war poet Wilfred Owen during the Pages of the Sea commemorative event at Folkestone (Steve Parsons/PA)
Volunteers create beach drawings at the Pages of the Sea commemorative event at Blackpool (Danny Lawson/PA)
A ‘Pages of the Sea’ image honouring rifleman John McCance at Murlough Beach, Co Down
Volunteers create beach drawings at the Pages of the Sea commemorative event at Blackpool (Danny Lawson/PA)

By James Gant

"Spectacular, poignant and dramatic" - those were the words used to describe Belfast Telegraph photographer Kevin Scott's drone photos of the image of a fallen soldier etched into the sand at Murlough beach, Co Down, on Sunday.

There were 32 haunting portraits created in the sand at beaches across the UK, with numerous pictures taken of them.

But it was Kevin's bird's-eye view of rifleman John McCance from Dundrum that caught the eye of the picture editor at The Times newspaper, which splashed the image - seen yesterday on our front page - across two pages as part of its coverage yesterday of the Armistice centenary commemorations.

Kerry Granger, senior picture researcher at The Times, said: "It's just clearly the most stunning image, to be honest. As soon as we saw it we just thought it was fantastic. But I can't really put my finger on what exactly it was.

"I guess just because it's a spectacular image. It's just the angle. The angle, the colours, the shadows of the people, all these sorts of things."

She added: "So the angle is just very clear and it's very effective, isn't it? Whereas some of the other angles get nice scenery but they don't quite capture the portrait as well. It's just dramatic and poignant and we saw it and we thought immediately we will switch that in for the main image."

Rifleman McCance died alongside around 275,000 British soldiers at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

The Pages of the Sea project, spearheaded by Hollywood director Danny Boyle, saw portraits of some of those who died in the First World War emerge from the sand at beaches across the UK and be washed away as the tide rose.

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